Searching for Truth in Post-Factual Times: Insights from the 2016 Austrian Presidential Election. A discussion with Anna Durnová.

Event time: 
Monday, April 24, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:15pm
The Policy Lab, ISPS See map
77 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 

Please join us in The Policy Lab on Monday, April 24th at 12 for an event with scholar and political commentator Anna Durnová as she discusses insights from her time as a political commentator during the 2016 Austrian Presidential election.

Abstract: Politicizing the scientific self through media interventions

The digital knowledge-era has reached a situation, where the public is overwhelmed with information, neither distinguishing between serious news and fake news nor seeing knowledge as a value for itself. Some speak in this context of “digital Darwinism” reflecting the interaction pattern that the loudest and the most radical dominate the discussion space and, to certain extent, the public discourse. That actual science must counterattack this trend but struggles how to do so, has been a key comment on recent political developments: we seem to have landed in post-factual times and science should take the facts back on board.

The paper applies an auto-ethnographic approach to analyze the author’s one year experience in her function as a commentator of the Austrian presidential election for Czech Television and Broadcast. The 2016 Austrian Presidential Election has been the only presidential election that had to be repeated which made political scientists puzzled about their prognoses. It was the longest campaign in the Austrian political history that began in February 2016 to end only in December the same year. These circumstances made it a crucial European political event reaching beyond national politics.

The paper examines how emotions enter fact-making and how this has impact on our means of analysis and public performance of such analysis. The paper concludes by suggesting that emotions are not erosion of facts but its cornerstone.

Anna Durnová holds PhD in Political Science and in Comparative Philology, and is a Senior Researcher at the Vienna Institute for Advanced Studies where she researches the role of emotions and language in the policy process. She is currently a Visiting Fellow at Yale CCS and is Forum Editor of Critical Policy Studies (CPS). 

Lunch will be served. Please RSVP to to attend so that we can have an accurate count for lunch.